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2004 HALL OF FAME Charles Krehbiel -- Picture Perfect

October 2004
By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor

As if life in general were not enough, it seems art has taken to imitating the commercial printing industry. Just ask Charles "Tuck" Krehbiel, CEO of CJK: Print Possibilities, in Cincinnati.

Krehbiel, 54, a trustee of the Art Academy of Cincinnati for the past three years, is an avid collector of fine art photography. He is enamored with the landscape works of Edward and Brett Weston, the figurative masterpieces of Ruth Bernhard and the fashion works of Horst P. Horst. His wife of 26 years, Deb, has a fine arts degree and operates an interior design company. Krehbiel himself owns a darkroom and studio.

Just like art, commercial and book printing is in Krehbiel's blood. He heads the fourth generation of the family owned business and is amazed at the parallels between his twin passions of photography and printing.

"I've taken a number of photography courses and have learned so much about cameras, orthochromatic film and panchromatic film," says the 2004 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee. "It's interesting that the trend in both photography and printing is moving away from film. Another interesting parallel in my life is that the Art Academy is moving within a couple of blocks of the original site of The C.J. Krehbiel Co. in downtown Cincinnati. When I walked into the new home of the Art Academy, I sensed, 'this is awfully familiar.' As it turns out, the Art Academy is moving into the old S. Rosenthal Printing Co. building."

As a keeper of the flame for a company that dates back to 1872, printing has been a constant in Tuck Krehbiel's life. He remembers walking into the downtown building as a youngster, overwhelmed by the smell of ink and paper, and fascinated by the old sheetfed Miehle and GMA gas dryers at the delivery end of the presses and their "wall of flame" through which the sheets passed.

While in college, Krehbiel entertained thoughts of going to law school. But by the time he obtained a B.A. in history from Denison University, he was itching to get into the business world and earn a paycheck. "I was ready to get away from academics for a while," he admits. "It made more sense to go into business and learn first hand than put in another two years of academe."

Krehbiel joined the company in 1973 and has held a variety of posts, from customer service and plant manager to vice president and COO. He has served as CEO the past two years; his cousins also hold executive roles with the company: Rob Krehbiel—a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee—is president and COO, while John Krehbiel serves as CFO. Uncle Robert Krehbiel Jr. is chairman.

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